The President of the Association of Fruit Exporters of Chile AG (Asoex), Ronald Bown, said the industry was evaluating the situation in the production areas that were affected by yesterday's rainfall, which lasted until this morning, mainly in the regions of Atacama, Coquimbo, Valparaiso, Metropolitana, and in the northern part of the region of O'Higgins.
Bown said that according to the report prepared by the Fruit Development Foundation (FDF) based on data from Agroclima, the rains were moderate and had volumes that ranged between 1 mm and 9 mm in Cabildo, Petorca, Quillota, La Cruz, Quillota, Casablanca, Llay-Llay, and other surrounding areas. Meanwhile, the rainfall reached 10 mm to 21 mm until 10:00 hours in the areas of Putaendo, Calle Larga, Rinconada, Curimon, Santa Maria, San Felipe, and Los Andes,. Moreover, in the Andean foothills of San Esteban,, recorded 45 mm of rainfall.
"The main concern in this region (Valparaiso) focuses on the situation of the first varieties of table grapes that will start being harvested at the end of the year, mainly in the Aconcagua Valley. Hopefully, the rains won't have significantly affected the crops because the harvest hasn't begun. However, the damage will be evaluated during the next few days. In addition, we should check if it's necessary to conduct preventive measures against possible rots, which would mean an additional cost for producers," Ronald Bown said.
In the Metropolitan Region, the highest rainfall was concentrated in the residential areas at the foot of the mountains, while the communes of Buin, Paine, Melipilla, and Huelquén, only received 1 mm to 7 mm of rainfall. Pirque, however, recorded 16 mm of rainfall.
"The blueberry and cherry harvest is almost complete in this region. Producers of stone fruit, kiwi, and table grapes should also conduct appropriate preventive actions to avoid rots, as these harvests occur in spring and summer," said Bown.
In the North
The rainfall recorded in the Region of Atacama, specifically in Copiapo, indicates that the rains had a low intensity in the mid-Valley sector and in the fields of Alianza with 0, 6 mm and in Hornitos with near 3.5 mm. Meanwhile, the rainfall in the upper valley was a little more intense, especially in the high mountains where producers also expect snowfalls. As a result, the crops in this area are on hold pending the corresponding applications.
According to reports, the rain in the Region of Coquimbo, in the areas where the table grapes are being harvested, such as El Palqui, was not very intense and only averaged 0.5 to 0.6 mm. The rains in the high mountains were stronger, so the sector expects that there will be a greater accumulation of water in the region's irrigation dams.
To the South
According to Agroclima, the rain in the Southern regions, such as in O'Higgins, were very low and there was a weak drizzle in Rapel, San Francisco de Mostazal, and La Estrella, with recorded levels below 1 mm. South of O'Higgins, the rains didn't affect the fruit producing areas.